Most people of my generation are familiar with the Joshua tree because of the 1987 album by the band U2. I have been thrilled to hear that they will be on a Joshua Tree tour this year, again.
When I visited Joshua Tree National Park in January 1994 for the first time, I became quickly obsessed with finding the most photogenic specimen.
And there are thousands of them, all lamenting the state of the planet, it seems.
They are interesting plants – not trees, actually, but yuccas. Being able to spread through seeds or rhizomes, sprouting from their extensive root system, makes them well adapted to desert climate. Otherwise they are not particularly useful, which is probably the reason why they are still around.
Besides admiring the Joshua trees, there are other things one can do in the park. I, for instance, had liberated a cactus that was held in captivity in a store in Berkeley, and planted it in the desert.
We had ideals back then.